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>> ultimately, there is no dividing line between main street and wall street. we rise or we fall together as one nation. i urge you to join me, to join those who are seeking to pass these common sense reforms. >> tom: president obama takes his call for financial reform to wall street, but he leaves the finger-pointing in washington. >> susie: we talk with a wall street trader who's seen it all, and get his take on the president's speech. you're watching "nightly business report" for thursday, april 22. this is "nightly business report" with susie gharib and tom hudson. "nightly business report" is made possible by:
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this program is made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by wpbt >> tom: good evening. a big speech today from
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president obama in new york city. he urged wall street executives to help reform the nation's financial system. >> susie: tom, the president was speaking at manhattan's cooper union college, not far from the new york stock exchange. he outlined some of the changes he wants to see: measures to prevent reckless risk taking, and more power for shareholders. >> tom: president obama also called for what he calls common sense rules that will protect consumers. >> in the end, our system only works, our markets are only free, when there are basic safeguards that prevent abuse, that check excesses, that ensure that it is more profitable to play by the rules than to game the system. and that is what the reforms we've been proposing are designed to achieve. no more, no less. >> tom: from trading desks to the floor of the new york stock exchange, lots of ears and eyes closely monitored the
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president's remarks. suzanne pratt was at the big board to hear what traders were saying. >> reporter: many on wall street were bracing today for another strong scolding from president obama. what they got instead was a call to come together. the president urged wall street to embrace a new regulatory structure aimed at avoiding another financial crisis. >> i'm here today specifically to speak to the titans of the industry here, because i want to urge you to join us instead of fighting us in this effort. >> reporter: among the titans in the audience, lyloyd blankfein, the c.e.o. of goldman sachs. just last week, the s.e.c. accused his firm of defrauding investors during the financial crisis. former federal reserve chairman paul volcker was also there. the president spoke about the so-called volcker rule, which is likely to be included in the bill and proposes limits on risks banks can take as well as their size. >> it's a good case and i think he made it. there's agreement on that, a
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wide range of agreement. it's the centerpiece of the bill. >> reporter: on the floor of the new york stock exchange, some traders were all ears as the president made his plea for financial reform. others seemed uninterested, choosing instead to carry on with business as usual. u.b.s. floor trader art cashin said there is general support among his colleagues for change. >> we've got to find out how to correct the errors without throwing the baby out with the bath water. it worked very, very well up until some of the safeguards were ignored and some of the pieces fell apart. >> reporter: cashin also said getting financial reform done would be a helpful event for the stock market. >> it will clear up the uncertainty, we'll know how you have to deal, what new costs there will be, and you can begin to make business and financial plans based on it. but, that's the key thing: removing the uncertainty. >> reporter: traders here at the
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new york stock exchange say one of the best things about the president's speech today was its tone. there was far less finger pointing at wall street than in the past. and, he said there should be no dividing line between wall street and main street. suzanne pratt, "nightly business report", new york. >> susie: while the president was busy in new york, senate democrats in washington were charging ahead on financial reform. senate majority leader harry reid said he's tired of waiting for republicans to back legislation holding wall street accountable for reckless behavior. so, today he set a procedural vote for monday afternoon that could clear the way for debate on the bill. reid is promising the strongest oversight ever of financial firms, with or without republican support. >> so, this is what i have to say to our friends on the other side, those still willing to do what is right, to those still willing to help us slam the breaks on wall street's joy ride: we are ready to work with you. but to those republicans
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determined to stand in the way and do the big banks' bidding, know this: no matter how hard you try to distort and distract this debate, wall street reform is coming. >> susie: so far, none of the 41 senate republicans has publicly backed the bill. both parties say they continue to negotiate. but without republican support, democrats are still short one vote required to start debate next week. >> tom: financial reform may be grabbing headlines, but tonight we're getting an alarming statistic on health care reform. it looks like four million americans could face fines under the new health care law for not buying health coverage. the congressional budget office released that estimate today, noting health coverage becomes mandatory for all americans in 2016. those four million people are about a fifth of the folks the c.b.o. thinks will remain uninsured then, much of the rest will be eligible for subsidies. >> susie: here are the stories in tonight's "n.b.r. newswheel". on wall street today, an afternoon rally pushed stocks
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into the green. the dow rose nine points, the nasdaq added 14.5, the s&p 500 was up two. big board and nasdaq volume continued growing. another blow for greece: moody's investors service cut that country's debt today and said further downgrades are possible. meanwhile, the european union said greece's 2009 budget gap was worsthan thought, almost 14% of greece's g.d.p. it looks like the third time wasn't a charm for u.s. airways and u.a.l., the parent of united airlines. u.s. airways said today merger talks between the two are off. it was the third time the companies have tried for a deal. but centurytel is dialing up a deal: it'll create a new national landline provider. the telecom which is being renamed centurylink is buying qwest communications for $10.6 billion in stock. >> tom: still ahead on the program, it's the nation's biggest auto dealer. autonation's latest earnings and the future of auto sales, from c.e.o. mike jackson.
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>> susie: encouraging signs in the housing market: sales of existing homes spiked almost 7% in march, turning around three months of declines. many of those home purchases came from first time buyers scrambling to take advantage of tax credits that expire at the end of this month. but those new buyers are facing some competitors. as stephanie dhue reports, in some markets, house hunters with cash are shutting out first timers. >> reporter: homes in this prince william county, virginia neighborhood once sold for close to $400,000. prices now are half as much. that makes owning an affordable option for first time home buyer issa viayrada. a high school spanish teacher, she's ready to settle down and has been shopping for a home. while she's made several offers, she hasn't had much luck. >> in this area, it's not so much about finding a house, it's about losing it to the highest
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bidder. >> reporter: the higher bidding is coming from investors, some who want to buy and rent the home, and others who want to flip it. one thing they have in common, says realtor mario rubio, is cash. >> the sellers or banks own, they would prefer to make a deal with a cash offer, which makes sense at this time, because the banks have been waiting, trying to sell these properties for so long. >> reporter: cash buyers now make up a quarter of the market, 10% is considered a normal level. in markets like d.c., southern california, and florida, those investors are pushing out first time buyers. some homes, like this one viayrada is looking at, were sold only a few months ago and now are back on the market. >> this last house we saw was a good example. it doesn't look like they did much to it, and it's back on the market for $75,000 more. it's been said that they're going to fix it, maybe it's too early to tell.
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>> reporter: during the boom, the f.h.a. discouraged flipping, but it has recently relaxed rules to make it easier for investors to resell a home to an f.h.a. buyer. theodore tozer heads up ginnie mae, which backs f.h.a. loans. he says with so many homes for sale, it's important to encourage all players to help stabilize neighborhoods. >> when somebody buys a property, renovates it, that's not the flipping that was going on a couple of years ago, so we're trying to bring as much capital and as much stability to the market that we can. >> reporter: investors and first time home buyers competing to buy properties could be a sign the market is stabilizing. but there are some concerns first time buyers may disappear when the $8,000 tax credit expires at the end of the month. viayrada says she still wants to buy. >> the credit for me is an incentive, but it's not the reason why i'm purchasing a house. i'm purchasing a house because i want to live there and raise a family there, and i work really close by and i don't want to commute any more.
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>> reporter: in the meantime, viarada is keeping a positive attitude, hoping she'll soon find a place of her own to call home. stephanie dhue, "nightly business report", woodbridge, virginia. >> tom, it was kinds of a choppy, slow day here at the exchange today but it looks like most of the action was after the close thanks to those microsoft earnings. >> it certainly was. what happened with all these
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technology earnings out, as well as a big financial evening out after the bell. so let's get you up yate-- updated here with tonight's market focus. profits, homes and greece. those were the themes for investors today. after the close, microsoft beat the street by three cents a share on record revenue of $14.5 billion dollars. in addition to windows, it also saw strong growth in its bing search engine. shares of microsoft came into the report at more than a two- year high. the initial reaction saw the stock drop about 4%. american express came into its report at a two-year high. shares may be poised to add to those gains. it was up about 2% after these numbers. the bottom line beat by a dime per share. amex card spending jumped for corporate and small business users. and the firm set aside less money for bad loans.
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it was a strong quarter at as well. profits and revenue were better than expected. the problem, though, came with a disappointing second quarter outlook. after hitting a new 52-week high during the regular session, after hours, shares were down about 5%. several health care companies this week have dialed back profit forecasts because of health reform. the latest is baxter. the lowered guidance comes after first quarter results came in as expected. but the firm says the health care reform law, and a lowered plasma products forecast will hurt 2010 profits. that sent baxter stock to new lows for the year. the new health care law expands rebates for drugs purchased through medicare and medicaid, cutting into baxter's top line. more trouble from the world of wireless. today it was a disappointing results from nokia. that took nokia stock down more than 13%. it was among the most active stocks today. it came as the market took down wireless chip company qualcomm
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for its disappointing outlook last night. and motorola got caught in the turbulence as well. speaking of telecom, verizon stock is less than $1 away from a new 52-week low. it was one of the leading losers of the dow industrials today. first quarter results came in as expected. wireless subscriber growth was driven by pre-paid customers signing up through partners like walmart, which means less money for verizon. cost cuts and price hikes were the first quarter recipe at hershey, leading to much better than expected profits. hershey easily beat the street with earnings doubling from a year ago. the firm also upped its 2010 forecast. that helped fuel the stock to a new 52-week high. it was back in mid-january when it dropped its effort to buy cadbury and since then, shares are up about 30%. you heard the sweeter news earlier on existing home sales, up for the first time in three months.
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that got homebuilder stocks moving. lennar is at its highest price since the spring of 2008. pulte group is the biggest of the group by market cap. d.r. horton shares are knocking on the door of a new 52-week high. in addition to earnings, renewed worries about greece also took a toll today. here's the latest. the country's debt rating took another hit from moody's. the european union economic commissioner says aid from the e.u. and international monetary fund could come immediately, if greece asks for help. this sent the euro currency close to a new crisis-low while the dollar rallied. shares of the national bank of greece hit new lows. shares also saw more than twice their usual volume. and that's tonight's "market focus".
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>> tom: americans are buying cars and trucks again. the biggest network of car dealerships in the country saw a double digit rise in sales and profits during the first quarter. autonation's results came in better than expected at 34 cents a share, with sales of u.s., foreign, and luxury autos all on the increase. i spoke with chairman and c.e.o. mike jackson at one of his nissan outlets in fort lauderdale, florida. if you look at our quarter t is an increase of 19% on the revenue side and within that, it's in all categories of our business, all segments of our business and all geographic areas.
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so it's very comprehensive. >> toyota is a big brand for the autonation brand. clearly that was taken out of the mix in february. how did it behave in march and what dow expect from the toyota brand for autonation. >> well, what we saw with this crisis was that the fundamental trust and confidence that toyota customers had in the brand and the product toyota remained. and the american people are very forgiving. but they would like a gesture. so we communicated to toyota at the end of february that some level of incentive was appropriate considering the circumstances. and they came with a very nice program. and toyota customers responded dramatically to it. for us, our toyota business was up 38% in march compared to a year ago. >> how have your ford dealers been behaving. >> ford's done very well, up 40% for the entire quarter so it's very impressive number. ford accrued a dramatic
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brand goodwill from the american people by not taking a government bailout. then they had extraordinary products there ready and waiting. because ford was never as disrupted as general motors and chrysler were in the whole product development cycle. so you put the two together, business is very good for ford motor company. >> with the general motors just this week paying back taxpayers in the united states and canada, do you anticipate ford will be able to hold those customers it was able to attract away from general motors during the bailout days? >> this is a very important step for general motors to pay back all the government loans, way ahead of schedule. once again the american people are going to look at that and say i like that. and you combine that with the fact that general motors has very good products, here in the marketplace. some of them are completely sold out. that bodes well for general motors. in the broader context what
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does this all mean from the toyota story to the general motors story? i think the decade long shift of share from the dom tess-- domestics to the japanese has ended. and you are going to see stability around share because the quality has genuinely closed, its quality gap that existed ten years ago and now the perception gap is closing for all these different reasons. and they have excellent products today. >> autonation clearly has a large national footprint but it is concentrated in florida which has been one of those states that has been dramatically hurt by the economic slowdown over the past two years. what does your florida sales in the first quarter tell you about the recovery? >> our business in the first quarter is up a full 29%. it's leading the country.
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and i think this is an important statement for both the overall economy and for the auto industry because neither of them will ever be healthy again without california and florida. >> mike jackson, thank you so much. mike jackson, ceo at autonation. >> susie: here's what we're watching for tomorrow. quarterly results from honeywell and xerox along with the march reports on durable goods and new home sales. also tomorrow, mark skousen sees the dow hitting another new milestone this year: 12,000. he's editor of the "forecasts and strategies" market letter, and our friday "market monitor" guest. a transocean drilling rig that exploded in the gulf of mexico has sunk. the offshore oil platform caught fire tuesday. now, there are two big worries. 11 crew members are still missing. and the family of one missing worker filed a lawsuit today accusing transocean and its partner on the rig, b.p., of
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negligence. neither company has commented. another concern: an oil spill. the rig could lose up to 8,000 barrels of crude a day. b.p. has sent emergency crews to the scene as a precaution. >> tom: airlines hoping to be exempt from the government's tarmac delay rule are out of luck, but their passengers aren't. the rule is designed to keep planes from sitting on runways for more than three hours with passengers on board. it goes into effect next week. today, the department of transportation denied requests from jetblue, delta, continental, american, and u.s. airways. those airlines were looking for a pass because of congestion and construction at busy airports like new york's j.f.k.
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>> susie: for many economies around the globe, start up businesses are the little engine that could, creating jobs and revenues. but you might be surprised where some start up businesses are taking root. here's commentator tim kane, senior fellow in research and policy at the kaufman foundation. >> next week, president obama is hosting a summit for more than 50 countries with sizable muslim populations, and it's a summit on entrepreneurship. maybe that sounds like small potatoes compared the big nuclear summit the white house hosted last week, but i think it's even more important. world peace will have economic roots. muslim economies are eager to shift away from oil, and they know a startup culture is key. actually, these countries are
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already changing. the reality of this century is that economic growth is flowering almost everywhere, not just exotic places like china and cupertino. a big reason progress has been so measurable is simple. there's something to measure. since 2004, the world bank has been publishing the "doing business report", which compares national economic policies across the globe. according to the 2010 edition, nine out of ten middle eastern and north african nations made at least one reform making it easier to do business, say start a company or hire a worker, with less regulation getting in the way. here's an example. in 2004, it took 42 days to start a company in a typical middle eastern country. last year, 21 days. in the u.s., it took six days. but get this, in saudi arabia it took only five days to start a company. in fact, two of the top economic reformers in 2010 were egypt-- fancy that-- and the united arab emirates. saudi arabia now ranks as the
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13th best place to do business in the world. who's number one? let's just say the summit should arguably be held in singapore, not washington. i'm tim kane. >> susie: and finally, this earth day finds many companies are doing something to be more environmentally conscious. according to a new career builder survey, more firms are making being green a priority. one in ten employers say they've added green jobs in the last year. 47% are now recycling, 40% control lighting, and a quarter are buying office supplies made from recycled materials. while the momentum for the first earth day came from a grass roots movement, 40 years later many corporations say it's often the business community that now leads the way in environmental innovation. >> there's no doubt about it, a lot of those companies are finding a direct route from going green to finding pore green for their owners, employees and shareholders. >> yeah, and you know in our offices here, we turned down
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the air conditioning. it is a little bit warmer but it's the right thing to do, isn't it. >> absolutely, turn off the lights when are you not using them. >> and that's nightly business report for thursday, april 22nd. we're going turn off the lights soon. i'm susie gharib. >> you two, suddenee, have a great evening. i'm tom hudsonment we hope to see you back here tomorrow evening. >> nightly business report is made possible by-- : "nightly business report" is made possible by: this program was made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ó>ç>ç
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Nightly Business Report
PBS April 22, 2010 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT

News/Business. (2010) Tim Kane, Kauffman Foundation. New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Toyota 8, Greece 7, Florida 5, New York 5, U.s. 5, Us 4, Washington 3, Mike Jackson 3, Baxter 3, Obama 3, Moody 's 2, General Motors 2, Suzanne Pratt 2, Nokia 2, Virginia 2, Cashin 2, Transocean 2, Tim Kane 2, Stephanie Dhue 2, Lyloyd Blankfein 1
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